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Full text of "Mathura A District Memoir"

ETYMOLOGY OF  LOCAL  NAMES.                                        353
would appear as Kalyanpar and Kalyan; the latter being still a popular Hindi
name and the Sanskrit for 4 auspicious.' Moreover, if the race was ever so
widely spread as he supposes, it is inconceivable that they should give their
tribal name to the different towns they inhabited; for such names under the
supposed circumstances would have no distinctive force. For example, if the
Hindus were suddenly to be swept out of India, the race that superseded them
would not find a single village hearing such a name as Hindu-pur, or Hindn-
ganw. Obviously it is only a country that derives its name from a tribe 5
while towns and villages commemorate families and individuals. To ascertain
who the Kalars were is certainly an interesting question, but one upon which
it is as yet premature to speak positively. My own impression is that the
name denotes a religions rather than an ethnological difference, and that they
were—in this neighbourhood at all events—Buddhists or Jains. At many of
the places from which they are said to have been ejected by the ancestors of
the present Jat or Thakur families, I have found fragments of Buddhist or
Jain sculpture, which can only have been the work of the older inhabitants,
since it is certain that the race now in possession have never changed their
religion. It is, of course, possible that theso Kalars may have been non-Aryan
Buddhists ; but the old village names, which in several cases remain unchanged
to the present day, such as Aira, Madein, Byonhin, &c., though of doubtful
. derivation, have certainly an)'thing but a foreign or un-Indian sound.
These and a considerable number of other names yet require elucidation :
but the words with which I prefaced the first edition of this work, in anticipa-
tion of the present argument, have now, I trust, been so far substantiated that
I may conclude by repeating them as a summary of actual results. "The
study of a list of village names suggests two remarks of some little importance
in the history of language. First) so many names that at a hasty glance
appear utterly unmeaning can be positively traced back to original Sanskrit
forms as to raise a presumption that the remainder, though more effectually
disguised, will ultimately be found capable of similar treatment: a strong
argument being thus afforded against those scholars who maintain that the
modern vernacular is impregnated with a very large non-Aryan element.
Secondly, the course of phonetic decay in all its stages is so strictly in accord
with the rules laid down by the Prakrit grammarians, as to demonstrate that
the Prakrit of the dramas (to which the rules particularly apply), even though
extinct at the time when the dramas were written for the delectation of a
learned audience, had once been the popular language of the country ; and as
Anglo-Saxon imperceptibly developed into modern English, so has Prakrit